Many students and parents are not aware that there is a limit on the number of hours that you may work as a student. If you earn too much, as a student you must pay taxes and your parents lose part of their income. If you work too many hours, your parents lose their child benefit.

How many hours may you work as a student?

You may work a maximum of 475 hours as a student each year. That doesn’t mean that you cannot work more than 475 hours, but doing so would have a number of consequences. As from the 476th hour, you pay more social security contributions. As a student, the government withholds lower social security contributions from you and your employer than they do from a normal employee, namely 2.71% instead of 13.07%. If you work more than 475 hours, that percentage rises to 13.07%.

Still worked more than 475 hours?

Each year, the counter is reset to zero. Hours that you did not work the year before will not be carried over to the following year. As long as you study and are between 16 and 25 years of age, you receive a quota of 475 hours each year. There’s also good news for those who worked more than 475 hours this year: they, too, get their quota of 475 hours back the following year, as well as their student advantages.

Finished your studies? What now?

If you are a student who has finished their studies and not carrying on, but instead are going to look for a job, you can still work in the summer. However, you cannot work as much as you like. If you still want to work before you apply for a permanent job, you can in the third quarter – but only for a maximum of 240 hours as in the first, second and fourth quarters.

How much may you earn as a student?

In theory, you can earn as much as you want when working as a student. In reality, however, your salary also has an impact on your taxes. If you earn more than €12,842.85 per year as a student, then you lose a large part of your student advantages and will have to pay more tax. This means that you’ll have much less income at the end of the year than you would have had if you stayed below €12,842.85.

The following three numbers are just as important, because they may influence the tax your parents pay. Your parents, too, may suffer some consequences if you earn too much.

  • €7054 (if your parents are taxed jointly)
  • €8920 (if your parents are taxed separately)
  • €10570 (if your parents are taxed separately and you have a disability)

If you earn more than the amount that applies to you, your parents must pay more tax. If you stay below this amount, your parents retain their tax advantage.

Written on 27 July 2017

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